Living Someone Else’s Life
During a commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs said “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. ” I was sitting on a couch filling time watching TED when I heard this quote. While not a complete waste of time I was just filling it at random. I had dozed off and woke up just 20 seconds or so before this profound statement slapped me back to planet earth. I had been struggling with the day-to-day grind of a new job and was taking it easy on myself. I had let that day, week, month, year, heck life be filled by my obligations, not my priorities. But Juan you have to work for a living! Do I? Who fills my calendar? Who decides what is important to me? You see I had created the life that I was living, no room to blame or point fingers. I had played victim for over thirty years and well I know how that turned out.
So who’s life have I been living? Ha! That’s easy to answer. My own, well sort of. Yep this guy right here. It was not as if I had didn’t know the facts, just wasn’t looking to hear the truth. So many times it was easy to take my foot of the gas pedal and coast. Problem with coasting is eventually you become comfortable, then out of shape so it becomes easier and easier not to pedal. Next thing you know you’re old, slow, dull and just plain lazy. So why do so many of us just take our foot of the pedal?
Hope! That’s right it’s hope. When was the last time you let your mind run? I mean really run to the point where you had a huge smile on your face and you could feel the hair on your skin stand up. So many times I meet with new people and ask them what drives them? You can see the glaze of a sobering life roll across their eyes, it’s as if they had never even heard the words before. ” You mean what do I do? ” No, the question is not one of obligation, it is one of purpose. I was visiting some friends recently for a fellowship group they had started, and there was a young boy in the room spinning in circles with his arms out pretending to fly (I always enjoy watching the freedom that children posses, they don’t set limits for what they can do). We had made introductions and had begun to chat when this young boy began to fly, his volume had begun to increase and before long his mother asked him to stop. There it was! There what was you ask? The beginning of the end. You see he was not asked to take it in for a landing or to set another coarse to the bedroom. He was not encouraged to set a higher altitude or perform a recon of the household. He was blasted out of the sky like some member of the Nazi Luftwaffe! A sobering reminder as to how I had let so many no’s beat the dreams from my soul. Do you think Steve Jobs went to new heights by going down in flames just because someone told him to quit or that it could not be done? Heck no he pushed through adversity and stopped being busy and started living.
So why do so many of us decided to let our dreams go? Have we given into our doubt or are we busy ” living someone else’s life? “